Three girls hospitalised after being mauled during terrifying dog attack in north Dublin

The animals were believed to have been dumped near where the girls were living before they went on a vicious rampage.

Three girls were hospitalised on Sunday after two vicious attack dogs were let loose for a rampage in a housing estate and halting site.

The animals were believed to have been dumped at the entrance to Avila Park, off the Cappagh Road in Finglas, north Dublin at around 1.30pm yesterday.

Witnesses described a female driver in a black car driving up to Avila Park and letting them loose.

The pair first attacked a 12-year-old Katelynn Collins who attempted to climb a metal fence to escape.

Blood could be seen smeared down a fence and splattered on the footpath where the terrified youngster attempted to escape more bites.

Luckily for Katelynn, Michael Collins arrived to visit his mother and got out of his van to rescue the girl.

If I’d been 30 seconds later I think I’d be going to a funeral,” Michael said.

“It was like something from a horror movie.”

Brave Michael used his phone to hit the dog and get it off traumatised Katelynn, who fell into Michael’s arms.

As he put her in his van out of harms way one of the dogs left the estate and the other attacked 11-year-old Dina Collins who suffered three bites to her arm as she tried to protect herself.

Dina said: “The big dog came after me and went for my neck, so I put my hands up in the air and he went for my arm.

“When he let go of my arm he went for my leg. A man kicked the dog away and I went up to an old woman.”

Young Dina needed a tetanus shot and antibiotics and her arm is in a sling.

Dina’s shocked mum Lisa was relieved it wasn’t worse.

“There were small children all around there, it could have killed one of the children,” she said.

Katelynn’s older sister Helen, 18, also suffered a deep bite to her leg and was being treated at Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown.

The younger girls were treated at Temple Street Children’s University Hospital.

A relative of Katelynn and Helen was with their family in Temple Street.

She said: “Because we are traveller people they think it’s okay to do this.”

Families around the site were celebrating First Communions and feared the toll could have worse if more children were outside.

One of the dogs was cornered in a front garden and Gardai and a dog warden removed it.

The second dog was still on the loose yesterday evening in the Finglas area.

Locals hoped the dog was microchipped so its owners could be traced.

Mr Collins added: “I arrived when the dog was locked onto Katelynn. I had a phone on me and broke it on the dogs face.

“It’s disgusting. They were savage dogs. They were deliberately released here.

“I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.”

Dina’s father Paddy Collins was shocked by the attack.

He said: “Only for a couple of local lads saving the kids it could have been ten times worse.”

A Garda spokesperson confirmed the incident.

She said: “Gardai in Finglas were called to an incident this afternoon, Sunday May 13, at a halting site in Finglas.

“Three children ages 17, 12 and eight were bitten by a dog. They were brought to hospital where their injuries are thought to be minor.

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